Prospective Student FAQ

Students gathered together looking at each other and a project.

Is Mount Holyoke College "need-aware"?

Yes. Need-aware, also known as need-sensitive, is a policy in which a student's financial resources are considered along with other admission criteria. Because the level of financial need may be considered as one of many admission factors, students must indicate their intention to apply for financial aid at the time they submit their admission application.

How do I apply for for merit scholarships?

You do not need to apply for need based aid to be considered for merit scholarships. Applicants to the College are considered for merit assistance with their admission application.

Will my family contribution change every year?

Each year students who are citizens or eligible non-citizens of the U.S. are required to reapply for financial aid. The family contribution is redetermined each year based on the financial aid application submitted. If there are no significant changes in the family income/assets, or the number of household dependents or the number of dependent children attending undergraduate institutions, then the family contribution will be similar from year to year.

International students apply for financial aid once, at the time they apply for admission. The calculated family contribution will stay approximately the same however, student loans will increase approximately $1,000 annually and costs not considered in the financial aid package, such as the College health insurance, will increase annually.

Will I get less aid if I apply Early Decision?

No. The amount of financial aid is the same whether a student applies for Early or Regular Decision.

Is my financial aid package negotiable?

We do not negotiate financial aid packages. However, if there is a change in your family's financial circumstances that was not considered during our original review you may submit a Request for Reconsideration. Please keep in mind that if you have questions about your financial aid eligibility or information that we have considered in our review, please contact us.

My parents are divorced/separated. How do I apply?

We require information from both the custodial and noncustodial parents, and stepparents if the custodial parent is remarried. We will consider a request to waive the noncustodial parent's information but please note that a waiver of the noncustodial parent information is approved only under limited circumstances. Please see our policies on divorced, separated or never married parents for more information.

What is MHC's policy on domestic partners?

Dependent students' biological and adoptive parents' domestic partners, and independent students' domestic partners, should also submit financial information to Student Financial Services for the purposes of determining eligibility for institutional need-based aid.

Can I be considered an independent student?

A traditionally aged student is rarely granted independent status. This is because we consider a student and her family as primarily responsible for her education. If a student initially receives financial aid from Mount Holyoke as a dependent student she will be considered a dependent student regardless of changes in family relationships. This includes a student who chooses to become independent of parents or to marry while in college or who has left the College then returned after a number of years. Please contact us if you believe you have unique circumstances that should be considered.